Published: 07:00, 17 June 2019
| Updated: 07:31, 17 June 2019
Gillingham chairman Paul Scally fears for the future of English football’s lower leagues.
He believes the money distributed throughout the top four tiers is unfairly skewed and has called on the government to take action.
“League 1 and 2 is the graveyard of football at the moment,” said Mr Scally, whose side next season will be competing against a Bolton team, who are currently in administration, and a Bury team that has been struggling to stay afloat.
“There is no money in it. We are against it on every front with so much football on television, the Premier League, Champions League, radio and media stations only talking about Premier League football all the time. You get sick of it.
“There is a world apart and if the government don’t step in and start legislating on the income in the Premier League and the finances then there is a danger, in my view, over the next 10 years we could see League 1 or 2 disappear.
“It’s completely disproportionate distribution and if it continues as it is I fear for League 2, for sure. I think you could see either part-time or a total collapse in the next 10 years because it is unsustainable.”
Outgoing EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey recently spoke out about club finances.
While the 72 EFL clubs take a share of £230m, those in the Premier League are handed around £100m or more each.
“We are reliant on owners and football needs to look at how it treats the owners at some of its clubs,” said Mr Harvey.
“Fans (are) not happy about the investment that is going into their club. Trust me, without them (the owners), they wouldn’t have a club.”
It’s a point Mr Scally has made himself recently, warning of the dangers if he is driven out by disgruntled fans.
Mr Scally added: “Supporters want instant success, their expectations are high. It is difficult to deliver on the sort of incomes we have, unless you have wealthy benefactors prepared to write out big cheques every week.
“I heard on the radio that anyone who wants to take over Bolton has to write out a cheque for £25m before they start going, then take on losses that will be mounting up every year.
“It is ridiculous, why would anyone in their right mind want to do that, even if you have got all the wealth in the world, apart from for ego purposes.”
Mr Scally is looking for investors himself and believes the Gills are an attractive proposition.
He said: “We have no debt, we have no overdraft, we don’t have a lot of cash and so we have to manage that carefully. We spend what we can afford, what we earn.
“If fans want to boycott coming and not buy tickets and whatever, that will only affect the club because that reduces the amount of money we can spend on the team.”
More by this authorLuke Cawdell
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